My Conversion

I grew up in a Baptist family. My parents were what some considered "hippies" and we went to church on Easter and Christmas. Mormons were a major population in my high school, and actually compiled most of the popular crowd. I was always bitter at seminary students, as I thought they got a grade for attending. I thought Mormons believed in Joseph Smith instead of Jesus, that their rules were stupid, and that they were going to Hell. Of course, I was in high school.

While in college I met my husband online (of all places) and he was a member of the church. (At this point everyone stops listening to my story and assumes that I converted because of him, and not for myself.) One of the downfalls of meeting online is that you live in separate parts of the country (or in our case - state) and in-person visits are rare. But through online chats, phone calls, and weekend visits we ended up falling in love. He never pushed his religion on me, but I was always skeptical. When I asked questions, he answered. But he always encouraged me to talk to the sister missionaries. Set out to prove him wrong, so I began to visit with the missionaries, hoping that I could refute everything they said.

I asked every question to three sets of missionaries over a period of 2 years. I didn't want anything to fall through the cracks. When it comes to salvation, there isn't room for ignorance. I researched and researched until I became blue in the face. For some, the answer comes quickly but the answer for me came slowly. I realized that knowing what I know now - about Joseph Smith, the Apostasy, the Book of Mormon - there was no turning back. I already believed the history. I already knew in my heart that it was true. God gave me an answer and I didn't listen.

I was too concerned with what other people thought about me. I lived in a sorority - the worst place to convert to a church that doesn't allow drinking. People looked at me like I was an idiot. They went out every weekend, got drunk, had sex, and looked down on ME. My mother was mildly supportive, maintaining that I was Baptist at heart and as long as I wasn't sacrificing animals it was okay. The day of my Baptism, my father -who had been sober for 8 years - got drunk at a local bar. My stepmother blamed me for his fall off the wagon.

I was baptized on April 26th, 2005. Even though the water was cold and the day was cloudy, my heart was finally warm and full. After I came out of the water the missionaries and church members were there supporting me - and everything else didn't matter.

Since then I have been plagued with Anti-Mormon material, former friends who don't listen, and every manner of negative information about our church. I have taken it in and STILL, my testimony becomes stronger with each day. I accept the imperfections in our church and in the people in it, but I also am smart enough to know that what I feel in my heart every day is stronger than anything people say. Now, I have a better relationship with my parents than I have ever had.

4 comments:

Dave said...

Beautiful story--thanks for sharing!

Clean Cut said...

Wonderful "conversion story". I too say thanks for sharing! When something is so true, as the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is, it tends to strengthen us for those storms of persecution and misunderstandings. Carry on!

Erica said...

Thank you for sharing!

Nate said...

I wanted to thank you for your post about your conversion.

I'm 17, grew up in Christian schools, and an evangelical Christian family. I'm currently reading the BoM, and meeting with some of my LDS friends, who are helping me. I'm worried about telling my parents, and I havn't converted, but the more I read and learn, the more truth I see in the LDS Church. It's nice to know that someone else went through this, and it's not catastrophic.

So really, thanks.

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